The purpose of this test is to assess the relationship between dog and handler and the dog’s reliable obedience and social skills.
1. Dog Walks to Heel on Lead – 15 Points
The judge will be looking for good rapport between dog and handler, for relaxed walk, prompt response to commands and accurate positioning of the dog.
Dog and handler will be required to cover the width of the Hall twice with the dog Walking to Heel not more than eighteen inches from the handler and on a loose lead. Reaching the far side the first time dog and handler will perform a right about turn and make their way back to the start. In the course of the walk, the handler will be asked to put the dog once in a Sit, once in a Down and once in a Stand. Dog and handler will be required to repeat this with the dog and handler performing a reverse about turn at the far side of the Hall and again performing one Sit, one Down and one Stand on the instruction of the steward. At the end of the exercise the dog should Sit at the handler’s side.
Points will be deducted for a tight lead at any time, for the dog being too far from the handler either walking or in either of the stationary positions and for late response to commands.
2. Dog Walks to Heel off Lead – 20 Points
The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate that the dog pays close attention to the handler and remains close to heel throughout and obeys instructions instantly and accurately on a single command.
The steward will instruct the dog and handler to walk twice the width of the hall with the dog off the lead. At some point during this time the dog and handler will be asked to proceed at slow pace. When at normal pace the steward will ask the handler to leave the dog in Sit, Down and Stand positions, each time continuing alone without hesitation until the handler returns to the dog again and both move forward together.
Points will be deducted for the dog being too far from the handler either walking or in any of the stationary positions, for moving from the positions and for late response to commands.
3. Distance Control – 20 Points
The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate that the dog can respond to the handler at a distance and obey clear commands.
The steward will instruct the handler to take up a position three metres away from the dog and in front of it. The steward will instruct the handler to put the dog in Sit, Down and Stand positions, using verbal commands and/or gestures.
Points will be deducted if the dog fails to obey instructions or moves without being instructed.
4. Recall – 20 Points
The steward will be looking for attention to the handler, a speedy return to the handler, an accurate sit to the front and a neat finish to heel.
The steward will ask the handler to command the dog to Wait in any position while he/she goes to the far side of the width of the Hall. Five points will be deducted if the steward has to hold the dog. On the instruction of the steward, the handler will Recall the dog and command it to Sit at Front. On the instruction of the steward, the handler will call the dog to Heel and Sit.
Points will be deducted for dog’s failure to respond to call, for slow return (making allowance for age and build of dog), for dog overshooting the handler or for sloppy positioning . If the dog runs off, there will be no points for this task.
5. Three Minute Stay – 25 Point
The purpose of this exercise is to see whether the dog will obey the command promptly and remain quiet until released.
The steward will instruct the handler put the dog in a position of the handler’s choice, give it a chance to settle and issue a last command. The handler will then move five metres away from the dog. The steward will tell the handler to return to the dog after three minutes and tell him/her stand in front of the dog. The steward will then instruct the handler to move to the dog’s side. The dog should not get up until the steward has said that the exercise is complete.
Points will be lost for the dog’s late response to command or changing position during the three minutes. The dog will not be penalised for shifting position as long as daylight cannot be seen underneath it. If the dog fails to take up the position or stay at all, no points will be given for this task.